In 2008, when Honda issued the first Takata airbag recall, we didn’t expect it to become one of history’s largest and most complex product liability cases in history. Today, the recall has impacted roughly 37 million vehicles, including more than one million vehicles recalled by Honda in 2019.
Keep reading to learn how the expanded recall affects you and your family, and what to do if you’re harmed by a defective Takata airbag.
The History of the Takata Airbag Recall
In the 1990s and 2000s, Takata was a popular airbag manufacturer. Approximately 30 car brands used its products in the United States. However, as early as 2004, there were signs that something was horribly wrong with the design of the company’s inflation systems.
Takata used a chemical called phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate (PSAN) in its inflators. Unfortunately, without a drying agent, this chemical can cause dramatic explosions during a collision, shattering the airbag’s canister and showering people with sharp pieces of metal. According to the NHTSA, the defective airbags killed at least sixteen people and injured at least 250 people. The most recent death occurred in 2019.
The resulting Takata airbag recall was one of the largest in history, including a relatively rare “do not drive” order from the NHTSA. In total, the agency recalled more than 50 million airbags in over 37 million vehicles, including some replacement parts. In 2017, Takata agreed to a $1 billion settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice for actively hiding their faulty products from consumers.
Due to its immense scope, federal authorities staggered Takata recalls, prioritizing the most dangerous vehicles. However, the recall has also evolved over time. In March 2019, Honda issued a new recall, focusing on Takata replacement parts from an earlier round of airbag repairs. In January 2019, Ford also announced a Takata airbag-related recall of more than 780,000 vehicles, due to defective passenger-side front airbags.
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Which Cars Have Faulty Airbags?
The vehicles at the highest risk are 2001-2003 Honda and Acura models, the 2006 Ford Ranger, and Mazda B-series trucks. These makes are most likely to be installed with the dangerous “Alpha” Takata airbags. Shockingly, there are still unrepaired “Alpha” airbags on the road today.
However, the NHTSA has recalled all Takata PSAN airbags. As these airbags age, they are more likely to explode during a collision. This is particularly true if they are exposed to intense heat and humidity. To find out if the Takata recall impacts your vehicle, you should contact your dealership or search the NHTSA’s recall database.
What Should I Do if My Takata Airbags Explode?
Product recalls are scary. If you get in a car crash, the last thing you need to worry about is being harmed by your vehicle’s safety features. If a dangerous Takata airbag injured you or a loved one, seek medical attention right away. Immediate medical care may give you a better chance of recovering from your potentially disfiguring injuries.
You should also preserve evidence of the explosion and take images of the crash scene. Do not dispose of the airbags or vehicle, since they will become important evidence in your personal injury case.
It is also in your best interest to consult with an experienced product liability attorney after an incident involving a Takata airbag. A highly skilled attorney can help you rebuild after a life-changing crash. If you’ve been harmed by a Takata airbag, you could be eligible to receive compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Compensation for disfigurement
- Lost wages and income
- Medical bills
- Damaged property
- Funeral bills
To understand the value of your defective airbag claim, contact Atkins & Markoff.
Hurt by a Defective Takata Airbag? Call Atkins & Markoff.
It takes considerable experience and knowledge to handle a product liability claim. At Atkins & Markoff, our team of injury lawyers guides victims and their loved ones through their complex claims.
If you trusted Takata airbags to keep you safe, but suffered catastrophic injuries, you are not alone. We offer free and confidential consultations with our team. To schedule yours, give us a call today at 406-607-8757, or fill out our simple online contact form.
Schuknect, C. (2019, March 13). Honda recalls 1.1 million vehicles after air bag injures driver. NPR. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/2019/03/13/702894575/honda-recalls-1-1-million-vehicles-after-air-bag-injures-driver
Takata airbag recall: Everything you need to know (2019, March 29). Consumer Reports. Retrieved from https://www.consumerreports.org/car-recalls-defects/takata-airbag-recall-everything-you-need-to-know/
Takata recall spotlight. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/takata-recall-spotlight
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.